As I reflect back on the previous year (some refer to as “normal” times), prior to the COVID19 pandemic, I am flooded with emotion. I treasure and hold dear the memories of the year and years prior even more tightly now than ever before. Simple things like school programs, rec baseball games, and family beach days…in the words of John Mellencamp, “Oh how I long for those days now.” Dripping sweat & swatting mosquitoes at the ballpark sounds like a vacation about now…am I right? Chasing kids up and down the sandy white beach and then submerging yourself in the beautiful Gulf waters to cool off seems so close, yet so far away, from where we are in this quarantine. Even the normalcy and ho hum task of grocery shopping has been stripped away and made into a huge ordeal.
Personally “normal” does not mean what it used to for me right now. I don’t think I will ever be able to go to the grocery store without the magnitude of this virus in the back of my mind screaming at me that I must clean every item I purchase before I bring it into my home, lest I risk bringing some virus in along with it! Oh how I miss the days of blissful ignorance when I simply unloaded my groceries and placed them neatly in the pantry or the fridge without worrying what was lurking on the outside of the items I had purchased for my family. Ahhhh…those were the days!
In light of all of the things going on in the world right now, this is so tiny, but yet it shows how this virus has erased our previous picture of “normal” and painted a new picture in its place. I am trying to look at it like any new change and give it a chance…like when you have had the same painting up in your home for as long as you can remember and it is suddenly replaced by a new one. It takes a bit of getting used to until it becomes your new normal and you begin to forget what the other one even looked like. As difficult as this is, we are all going through it together, and it is healthy to talk about both the little and big changes erasing the “normal” daily life we all once knew. Reach out to your friends, family, & your neighbors because we are all in this same whirlwind of change. Together we can support and encourage one another as we each discover what our unknown new “normal” will be.